Our 11th day was quite a busy day but we got a taste of the “pioneers’ experience”. Right after breakfast, we drove back to the Pig Land to cut down the palm trees around the area. Despite these palm trees having a rather thin trunk, the process of cutting them down required strenuous work. However, the participants were determined and worked extremely hard to cut them down just like the pioneers did when they first came to Leda. Together, we cut about 50 trees and everyone went back with blisters on their hands. Once we got back, we all refreshed ourselves with a swim in the swimming pool.
In the afternoon, we drove out to the farms to harvest the taro. Participants worked together to pull the huge family of taro plants out of the mud. Mr. Nakata said that, “it’s important to get in the mud because there are a lot of nutrients inside.” After we pulled them out, participants cut the taro from the plant and separated them. After the large harvest, we brought the taro to the Paraguay River and washed them in the water with brushes. At this point, everybody was covered in mud but that didn’t stop them from working. After a tiring day of harvesting and cleaning, we ended the day with a delicious dinner where we ate the taro that we brought home.
On our 12th day, we worked on building the foundation for the Pantanal Animal Park in Leda. Mr. Nakata is planning on creating a zoo where people can walk amongst the animals. Today, participants did gardening, building fences, and creating the bridge between the two islands. Simultaneously, participants from the mural team were working on painting the sign for the zoo. This is our last real work day in Leda where tomorrow we will enjoy our day fishing and horseback riding. Afterwards, we will be travelling back to Asuncion in the Aquidabon